Ryan Ricard


Bio: I've coached LD and/or Policy at Rosemount High School in Rosemount, MN since 2008. Before that I coached at Law Magnet in Dallas, TX. Before that I competed in Policy at Rosemount. Some people call me Lucy.
I can be contacted at ryanjricard@gmail.com

I Love this activity because it gives you the chance to be smart, strategic, creative, and hard-working and to be rewarded for it. I see debate as both a wide open space where any idea can be tested and as a source of civil discourse in an uncivil world.

Both Events

Decorum: I have an extremely low tolerance for meanness, including ad-hominem attacks, disrespectful behavior, or racist/sexist/ableist "jokes". Sometimes it's hard for me to tell the difference between two people who are "in" on the same joke or one person being mean to another, so be aware that I'm going to err towards maintaining debate as a Safe Space. On the other hand, I don't like a lot of deferential flim-flam (calling me "sir", calling me "judge", long-winded intros to cases).
Delivery: I demand to understand every syllable that comes out of a debater's mouth. I've realized that if I don't take an active role in enforcing this demand, there is an incentive for speakers to push the limits of speed/clarity such that they can get more stuff out there in constructives and fill in the details in rebuttals. If I can't understand you 100% clearly, I'm going to yell "clear" 1-2 times, and if I can't understand you after that I'm going to make a big show of not flowing (hands in the air, pen on the table, etc). I'm not trying to be a jerk if I do this, there's just no competitively fair way of enforcing clarity without violating the traditional speaker/audience etiquette.
What to Run: Generally speaking, the answer is "Do what you do best", but if you're really curious, I tend to enjoy scientific/empiric/specific/testable kinds of arguments over abstract/philosophic/idealist/general kinds of arguments. I'm much more conversant in literature of science, poli-sci/economics, or analytical philosophy than I am in that of Critical Theory, continental or classical philosophy.
Theory: I don't *like* theory debates in an of themselves, but I do see theory as a necessary and useful tool to define the parameters of the activity. Just like in any other debate, in theory debates I tend to value the specifc over the general and the warranted over the claimed. I do tend to view theory debates in terms of competing visions of what the "rules of the game" ought to be, but that doesn't necessarily mean voting for the "best" interpretation 100% of the time - It is possible that both interpretations are reasonable and nobody ought be punished by ballot.
Evidence: I tend not to call a lot of cards, and if so it's usually just to evaluate specific claims made about those cards in-round.
Decision Process: Most of the time my decision-making rationale tends to mirror the overview or framing device of the winning debater/team's final rebuttal, so consider beginning your last speech with a brief (30-60 second) discussion of what you're winning on the flow and why it's most important.

LD-Specific Stuff

Policy Things: I don't necessarily have a *problem* with people running plans or counterplans or disads or whatever in LD, but all the times that people (even very smart debaters) have run these in front of me I've ended up very confused and not very impressed. Maybe it's a vocab mismatch, maybe you don't know what you're doing, maybe I'm just an indie-rock policy snob (I liked disads before they were cool)
Multiple Neg Positions: For some reason, multiple neg positions (either conditional things or necessary-but-not-sufficient things) feels dirtier to me in LD than it does in policy, though I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe this means I'm amenable to Theory args in this situation, but I'm not entirely sure I'd recommend that as your plan-A strategy. Either way, it's more impressive to me (and I'll likely give more speaker points for) winning on the Neg with a single, coherent advocacy.
Kritiks, Non-standard case formats, etc: Go for it. I want a clear link back to the resolution and/or your opponent's case.
Moral Skepticism: I've been coaching LD Debate for 5 minutes and I'm already bored by it.
Definitions: Don't read them if they don't matter to your argument.

Policy-Specific Stuff

My topic knowledge: Assume 0

Generic Strats: I'd probably rather see your generic DA/CP strat than your generic K strat, but do what you do best.

Kritiks: Assume I don't know the literature. The more you can make your kritik specific to the aff's plan the better - this likely won't be in your cards so it needs to be in your explanation. Also, I'm fine with the various forms of little-c cheating on the K, but you should be upfront about (all of) the ways you plan to cheat in CX.

Answering Kritiks: It seems like everyone is afraid of the impact debate these days. I'm a pretty liberal guy, but I think that Capitalism Good, Threats Good, Security Good, Realism Good, Roleplaying Good are all defensible positions. I mean, if you've got a link turn/perm thing ready to go then go for it, but if you've got bupkis I'd much rather hear "Cap Good" than a half-hearted "No Link" strategy.

Counterplans: Competition is a prerequisite to desirability, so I don't believe the "Any risk of a link" argument in the face of absolute defense on the net benefit.

Paperless rules: I'll stop your prep time when you hold in your hand the flash drive containing your speech. Please don't abuse any additional speech-copying time to steal prep.

Things that are always dumb

  • Side bias arguments
  • "Zero Point of the Holocaust"
  • Reverse Voting Issues
  • Multiple Conditional Counterplans (Seriously! How is this a thing again?!)
  • "Fiat Is illusory"
  • Disclosing Speaker Points